Tuesday, August 28, 2007


These last couple of days have been both hectic and weird. (And unfortunately, not in a good way.) Today is the full moon, with a lunar eclipse thrown in. Coincidence? Perhaps not.

At any rate, I will try to finish responding to the submissions already received very soon.

I have done virtually NO writing for almost two weeks, which makes me feel awful, but I will try to get back on track for Autumn, moon phases aside...I do have plans for a few pieces in the works...just haven't gotten a chance to put those ideas to paper.

For inspiration, I've been reading Margaret Atwood's Writing With Intent. My favorite essay (so far) is called "Spotty Handed Villainesses: Problems of Female Bad Behavior in the Creation of Literature." My favorite quote, thus far:

"Female characters who behave badly can, of course, be used as sticks to beat other women--though so can female characters who behave well: witness the cult of the Virgin Mary, better than you'll ever be, and the legends of female saints and martyrs--just cut on the dotted line, and, minus one body part, there's your saint, and the only really good woman is a dead woman, so if you're so good, why aren't you dead?"

An excellent point about non-villainous female characters, is that they often serve a less-than-saintly purpose. And of course, the quote brings to mind another of my favorite writers--Eudora Welty--who (rather famously) posed this question in her story "Petrified Man": "If you're so smart, why ain't you rich?"

Why indeed.

Those of you who read this blog and are familiar with my most recent project can see why this quote from Margaret Atwood hits home for me...for many reasons...not the least of which is my Catholic upbringing and childhood fascination with the lives of female saints.

Forgive the rambling nature of this blog entry...It's been that kind of day.


Things I find troubling:

1. I have taken to keeping a small dictionary on my desk, because I seem to have suddenly lost the ability to spell words with the confidence of a third-grader. And to think, I was once queen of the spelling bee!

2. I am genuinely worried about the effects of the lunar eclipse today.

3. It's almost 10 p.m. and there's a half-finished glass of wine on my desk. (Friends don't let friends drink and blog?? Perhaps I should make a you tube public service announcement...)


Melissa said...

Holy bejesus do I know what you mean about this eclipse/full moon business. Both dogs rushed to the vet, losing forty dollars (it's in my room SOMEWHERE!!!!), spontaneous dyslexic tendencies while trying to complete the latest homework assignment to be added to the mountain....what's going on here?!?!?

I'm loving the Atwood quote. So sarcastic. Or is the better word sardonic? I don't even know anymore. Damn you, eclipse/full moon combination!!!!

Susan said...

Another troubling thing:

I actually asked Z. if he knew the difference between "sarcastic" and "sardonic." He tells me that "sarcastic" has to do with making an ironic statement, whereas "sardonic" means "mockingly derisive" (I'm actually quoting here...)

He tells me he learned this from an episode of Monk.

So anyway, I looked it up (Exhibit B: English majors ARE a little OCD) and he's right.

And I needed to look it up. *sigh*

Anyway, I think Atwood is probably being sardonic :)